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Senior 1922 Committee members set to meet early this week

Re-elected members of the last Parliament's 1922 Committee Executive are due to meet early next week - a move that will be watched closely by the Party leadership.

The re-elected MPs are expected to bringing forward the election of a 1992 Committee Chairman from the end of May to a date nearer the start of the new Parliament.

Senior backbench Conservatives believe that given a hung Parliament and David Cameron's offer to Nick Clegg, it's vital to have a Chairman in place as soon as possible.

They also say that any deal between Cameron and Clegg must be put to the Parliamentary Party so that it can take a view.

"It's obviously important for backbenchers to make known to the leadership their view of the options open to the Party.  This will be done more effectively if a new Chairman and Committee are in place," one said.

The last 1922 Committee Executive agreed that in the event of a hung Parliament its re-elected members should meet before the new Commons gathers.

At present, a new Chairman isn't due to be elected until near the end of May - two weeks or so after the new Parliament convenes for the first time on May 18.

This leaves a gap of a fortnight in which the Parliamentary Party has no formal means of making its views known to the leadership.

The re-elected Committee members include Richard Ottoway and Graham Brady, two of the candidates for the Chairmanship.

I wrote recently that the election timetable should be brought forward here.

Paul Goodman


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